In 2017, journalist Ellie Flynn investigated the ‘rent for sex’ trend, where landlords offer free rooms in exchange for sexual favours. She broadcast her findings in the BBC Documentary ‘Rent for sex: Ellie undercover’.
Since that time, more and more stories have come to light of women keeping a roof over their heads in exchange for sex. In 2019 the Crown Prosecution Service took steps to clamp down on landlords using this tactic to exploit tenants, stating in their guidance that the provision of accommodation under these terms could be considered causing prostitution for gain under section 52 of the Sexual Offences Act.
Katie Russell, of Rape Crisis England & Wales, explains that the Sexual Offences Act defines sexual consent as when an individual “agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice”. According to Katie Russell, agreeing by choice is NOT the same as agreeing to have sex with someone “under the pressure and fear of homelessness, or in exchange for the basic right to have somewhere to live.”
If you’re in this situation we will be glad to fight with you to help you find safe alternative accommodation. We can also support you in informing the police if that’s something you want to do. Just contact us on 07393 916650 or email us at [email protected]. To find out what else we do, click on ‘’What we do’ and ‘I want support’.